|‘Golden Knights’ given land in New Providence|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Aug 22, 2012
The ‘Golden Girls’ got crown land after winning gold in 2000, Tonique Williams-Darling got her share after her golden run in 2004, and now, The Bahamas’ ‘Golden Knights’ will get their piece of the rock.
Prime Minister Perry Christie announced yesterday that Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller will each receive plots of land in the western district of New Providence as a reward for their stellar performance in winning gold in the men’s 4x400-meter (m) relay at the London Olympic Games. The team ran a national record time of 2:56.72 to win gold and hand the Americans their first loss in the event on the track since 1952 - a string of 11 straight gold medals.
It was also done on the 55th anniversary of The Bahamas’ first medal in regional competition - a bronze in the men’s 100m by Tommy Robinson at the West Indies Federation Games in Kingston, Jamaica.
As for the four plots of land, the size wasn’t revealed but they are located in the Tropical Gardens subdivision off West Bay Street. The prime minister said that he will sign the commitment letter this morning, and the four ‘Golden Knights’ will receive their deeds in short order.
“I want to ensure that whatever is given could be appropriately utilized so it is just a matter of instructing the lands and survey department to begin the surveying process. A commitment will be made by myself in writing in the morning and you guys will be given those deeds at the appropriate time,” said the prime minister.
The prime minister, himself a former athlete, said that there has been a challenge in the ‘Golden Girls’ receiving their plots of land because of a government transformer positioned on the land, and he wants to ensure that the ‘Golden Knights’ don’t encounter that same problem.
Also yesterday, Prime Minister Christie said that because of the costly venture of duplicating sporting facilities on all of the family islands, his government would have to find a way to work effectively with the various athletic associations in the country toward giving young people with talent, opportunities to have their talents discovered. Just last week, he mentioned that his government would look at having ‘Centers of Excellence’ constructed on a number of family islands.
“We certainly didn’t have the facilities that people have today so we are in the process of reviewing the conditions of which you operate, and of course subventions, with a view of ensuring that we are doing the right thing for each of you,” he said. “We want the talents out there to be identified and be given access to the best coaching and appropriate facilities. I’m making a commitment toward that, so those of you in the BAAA and the coaches, we encourage each of you to find the hidden talent and nurture it. We saw where a 19-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago won the gold medal in the javelin at the Olympics. We must give our athletes a chance, so I’m throwing a challenge out there for you to find that hidden talent. The government is prepared to dedicate its resources to make this happen - to give our athletes the best opportunities for success. You have my full support.”
As a former athlete, Prime Minister Christie experienced success as a triple jumper in the early sixties. He was the first Bahamian to jump over 50 feet in the triple jump and also the first Bahamian to win a medal in the field in international competition. He leapt 14.98m (49’ 1-3/4”) for the bronze medal in the event at the 1962 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Kingston, Jamaica.